COLUMBUS – North Georgia College & State University softball came up short in its bid for a fourth consecutive Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship, falling to Columbus State 4-1 at Cougar Field Sunday evening.
The Saints (45-8) simply could not touch Mollie Russell, who earned Tournament MVP for her performance. The North Georgia lineup mustered up just one hit all evening, ending their hopes for a fourth straight title.
The loss snaps a Saints' PBC tournament winning streak of 14, as well as an overall winning streak of 15 games this season.
Jessica Coan pitched well, but took the loss, as she surrendered four runs on seven hits. She gave up a three-run home run in the third to the PBC's record-holder for home runs in a season, after Casey Googe blasted her 21st home run of the season.
The bats went cold at the wrong time for North Georgia, which has happened on occasion throughout this season. The lineup combined to go just 1 for 22 at the plate.
Despite the loss, the No. 11-ranked Saints should still hold strong at No. 1 in the NCAA Southeast Region Poll to be released next week. If that is the case, North Georgia would host an NCAA Regional on May 5-7 in Dahlonega.
The only hit of the ball game for the Saints came off the bat of Karlie Gillam.
Earning All-Tournament Team honors were Melissa Dickie, Hilary Cox and Tiffanie Burns. Cox and Burns led the attack offensively this weekend, while Dickie was dominating in the pitching circle once agin.
The Lady Saints will still have the opportunity for a fourth straight College World Series appearance, forcing the regionals to go through Dahlonega, should the rankings hold strong.
The matchup in the NCAA Regional will be released April 29 or 30 before the regionals start.